EU pledges € 12 Mln for Destruction of Syrian Chemicals

Written by | Monday, December 23rd, 2013

The European Union has pledged to contribute 12 million euros to support the international efforts made for the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons.
The EU fund will be given to the special fund set up by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) which welcomed the EU financial contribution.
The EU says it is supporting OPCW and the UN in carrying out the destruction plan and UN resolution which opens “the way for a peaceful and durable solution to the Syrian crisis”
The money will be used to cover the costs of commercial disposal of chemicals to be removed from Syria. The OPCW has been tasked by the United Nations to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal by the middle of next year. It is a dangerous, challenging and onerous task.
Syria shoulders the responsibility for the packing and transport of the hazardous materials. The US supplies nearly 3,000 container drums and GPS locators that will enable OPCW inspectors to track cargo at all times.
Russia provides large capacity and armored trucks, water tanks, and other logistical supplies as well as security for operation at the port and in Syrian territorial waters.
Britain has also agreed to destroy 150 tons of two industrial-grade chemicals from Syria’s stockpile at a commercial facility. The chemicals will be shipped to the U.K. before being transferred to a commercial site to be incinerated and destroyed.
These two chemicals only become highly toxic when mixed together to make a nerve agent. So to avoid such a risk, the two chemicals will be removed separately, sealed in standard industrial containers under the supervision of chemical weapons watchdogs.
In a complex international operation, these chemicals will then be loaded onto Danish and Norwegian ships and shipped to an Italian port, where the most toxic chemicals — including materials used to make mustard gas and sarin — will be transferred to a U.S. ship for destruction at sea.

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